Jim’s Best Survival Tips for Virginia Hunters

So, you want to plan on what you need in your backpack just in case you get lost in the woods when your hunting… Right?

Survival guru’s all have a survival guide chock full of things you need to survive in the wilderness in case you get lost, matches, rope, knife, etc… Right?

Lots of reality shows on T.V. about survival in the wilderness, albeit most don’t have a damn thing to do with reality.

Your probably thinking to yourself, I have most of that stuff in my backpack anyway because I am going hunting.

What Are You Doing Wrong?

The Truth:

Probably a lot.

New hunters make a lot of mistakes.

The Good News?

I am going to turn the light on for you…

Just flip the coin over… and the solution will be reveled to you.

Nobody can make all the obstacles disappear when it comes to getting lost when your out hunting, but I can at least help you see what your tripping over. The mistake your making here might surprise you.

Don’t plan on how to survive in the woods in case you get lost… spend time working on a plan… How Not To Get Lost.

The guru’s don’t sell their stupid survival guides chock full of “rodent recipes” or how to eat friggin grubs, and their sponsors don’t make any money hawking their survival gear (that sits around collecting dust) if they told you to make a plan on not getting lost in the first place.

Our Don’t Get Your Ass Lost Action Plan

Every year we have a few hunters who get turned around when hunting on the farm. There are 55 acres of hardwoods just in section 1 of our farm, but that is not all the land there is. There are thousands of acres connecting to our land with the same kind of dense cover making it easy for those unfamiliar to get turned around.

There are news reports on T.V. every year about hunters getting lost in the wilderness.

The number one error… Far too many hunters rely on their cell phones because they are use to getting 4 g services where they live. When in the country cells phone just flat don’t work 50% of the time and 80% of the time when in the woods.

I will address this issue from my personal perspective.

The Essentials for Your Survival Kit

FACT: It’s easy to lose your way in unfamiliar woods.

FACT: It is even more embarrassing when you get lost in the woods close to home but, it happens.

The neighbor son’s who is 17 yrs old and has lived on their property his whole life was out hunting last year and got confused. He was going in the wrong direction for 4 miles before the rescue squad found him.

Most believe carrying a compass and maps of the general area that you will be hunting in can help in the event that you get lost. They say to carry a flashlight with extra batteries in case you get caught out after dark. Matches in a waterproof case are essential and a sharp knife is good to have as well.

I say the first thing that goes in my pack is a 2 way radio and a hunting buddy that has one too. Our neighbor Tyler, got in trouble because he went into the woods without telling anyone and no radio.

All the family members thought he was with the others. And his cell phone didn’t work until he stood on a knoll with his left leg raised 2 feet off the ground facing south 4 miles from home.

As I stated above, we have people get turned around every year. You greatly reduce your risk of getting lost if you’re going to hunt a property that’s new, by hanging out there for a couple days before season (I sound like a broken record but that’s what our Fun Day is for).

I See A Pattern Developing

Those who get lost here have this in common:

  1. They get lost on the first day here,
  2. They get lost in the dark either going into the stand or coming out and
  3. They go on part of the farm they have never visited until the day they hunt it.

F.Y.I. If you don’t have time or just flat refuse to get familiar with the area you’re going to hunt before season then my best survival advice is as follows;

  1. Make sure you pack some granola bars, candy bars and dried fruit and at least 3 cans of sardines.
  2. The first 3 are for your lunch or to eat while waiting on help to get you out of the woods.
  3. The last is a snack for the bear, bobcat or coyotes so they doesn’t eat your dumb butt before help arrives. (the more sardines the better)

Common Sense When Hunting In Virginia

The goal when hunting is to get back to camp in one piece. Camp is normally not more than a mile or two away. You have a pack because your hunting and most of the items you need for survival for a day you should have in your hunting pack and will double in a survival situation.

Always have something to drink at all times. When I was in basic training, the rule was you always had to have water in your canteen at all times. If you got caught without water it was some kind of nasty duty you had to pull that would motivate you to keep water in your canteen.

Rule 1… Don’t Get Cheap In The Wrong Places

When hunters do get turned around, the surefire best way I find people quickly, is they call me on a “Quality Two Way Radio” and ask for help.

The very first thing I tell them is to stay put or go to an area we have a name for… The Cross or The Logging Road etc… Then I know what direction to head in and they see me coming from a half mile away because my flashlight will make the woods glow like a Nascar track when racing under the lights.

Don’t get cheap… I have a real flashlight that is suitable for the situation… Hunting/Rescue. Don’t come into the woods with some friggin pen light that holds one AAA battery you got for $3.99 at the dollar store. That doesn’t qualify as a flashlight, when looking at you’re hunting check list.

Get a good quality light that is rechargeable and holds the big batteries. You want at a minimum 400 Lumens with an extra battery that’s fully charged in your pocket. If your light goes dead you don’t want to have to fumble around in your pack looking for it in the dark.

Best Tip: I also carry a red light that will throw a beam 50 yards and light up the woods with no problem. I use them when predator hunting and when walking in and out of the woods in the dark.

The purpose for this is I don’t want to bump the deer off the farm. Deer, bear, or predators can’t see the red light but I will be able to make their eyes glow red and stop so before they see me. Plus, I can see the eyes of anything in the woods… Just in case it’s not the friendly type.

Both lights hold those same big batteries that will last a long time and they are rechargeable. I will post the lights and radio’s I use in Hunting Gear shortly.

Survival If You’re Hunting by Yourself in the Wilderness

If you’re one of those wilderness junkies who loves their own company better than anyone else’s then this is written just for you. It is against my better judgment to hunt alone, so this is written with the premise that you’re a person of poor judgment or an expert and know more than I about the subject.

Never eat any plants or berries unless you are familiar with what you’re eating. If you are unsure of the safety of a plant or its fruit, don’t eat it! Getting sick while stranded in the woods is not better than an empty stomach.

A bottle or two of drinking water is not going to get you far. The plastic bottles are of more value to you so buy the good bottled water with the heavy plastic bottles.

Carrying some of those pills from the sporting goods store that make the water in a stream drinkable is what you need in your pack. Humans can survive for weeks without food but only three days without water.

It is recommended that you carry a needle and thread in your survival kit. Most who write about survival in the woods say they can be used to repair torn clothing or can stitch up a wound to stop heavy bleeding in case an injury occurs and you cannot get medical attention right away.

I say if my pants are torn they are going to stay that way until I get my dumb butt out of the woods and back home to change.

You should have a twelve -foot length of rope to help drag game back to the truck or haul equipment up into a tree stand. This rope can be used in many ways if you are stranded in the woods for an extended period of time.

You can use a rope for first aid purposes, to help build a shelter, or to secure equipment during your hike. You can even string up a makeshift clothesline to dry wet clothing should you fall into standing water.

LISTEN UP… All You Dumb Asses… Make sure you put your FRIGGIN rope in your pack and don’t leave it in the truck.

If your offended by my name calling… you must be one of the dumb asses who left his rope in the truck.

Here More Good News:

You can overcome that disease by listening for a change and by getting your gear organized.

I will say this… It Takes One To Know One, so you don’t have a monopoly.

It is also a good idea to wear a belt when out hunting. A belt can be used as a tourniquet in an emergency, as well to help secure a splint to a limb if necessary. A belt is one first aid item that you don’t have to cart around either. I want a belt on to hold up my torn pants.

The Best Tip For Survival

When it boils down to it… Don’t Get Lost. Visit the place you’re going to be hunting before hunting season. Get use to the area in the daylight and leave some bread crumbs to get back to camp. A lot of hunters use the reflective tacks or bread ties and check what they look like in the dark.

I put ribbons all through the woods dividing up the orange section from the blue with both leading back to camp.

A good radio and a hunting buddy with a radio and bright light that can help you find your way back to camp makes the most sense to survival in the woods. If you don’t have radio’s get a side job on the weekend and buy them.

If you have to worry about getting lost… hunting is going to take a back seat and your chances of harvesting game will be slim to none. Get this fixed first!

If you haven’t watched the videos on my Hunting Guide System do it now!

Recommended Reading:

Piddlin And Diddlin

Rattling Tips

1 Comment

  • steve migel

    Reply Reply September 10, 2017

    hi my name is steve i was on the farm a few years going i like to do some more hunting please call me 404-997-9697 ask for steve

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